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Barometer: Significant loss of industrial growth momentum this April

Industrial growth this April considerably lost momentum in comparison with March, as most indicators dropped sharply and neared the average values over the past 30 months, shows Romania's Industry Barometer conducted by IRSOP and the Management Faculty of the National School of Political and Administrative Studies (SNSPA).

"It is quite obvious that March was a very good, but out of the ordinary month. It is also interesting that the March-April 2016 pattern replicated almost mathematically in the sense of industrial growth strongly picking up speed in March and then 'getting out of breath' in April," the authors of the document said in a release to agerpres.

The output volume dropped from 64 points in March to 57 in April, a decline that seems to be driven by domestic and foreign demand. New orders overall followed a similar downward trend from 63 in March to 56 in April, and export orders fell even steeper from a record high of 69 points in March to 57 in April.

Imports of raw materials and materials required for production fell from 65 to 59, while stocks declined sharply in December 2016 and are still in a downward evolution. There was a slight comeback in March (48 points), but in April the stocks index dipped back to 45.

Unperformed orders reached 44 points in April, from 51 in March. The prices charged by companies for the sold products fell from an index of 58 in March to 53 in April, but they are still in the expansion zone, and the drop is probably the effect of higher orders contracted in the previous months for a lower price.

"However, we also see some encouraging changes: employment, production costs and capital expenditures. The number of employees seems to be back on the rise, as the relevant index increased from 48 in March to 54 in April. Production costs dropped from 71 in March to 65 in April. Capital expenditures saw a slight but steady increase in the last four months, from an index of 51 in January to 52 in February, 53 in March and 55 in April," the release said.

The monthly barometer of the industry's current situation is conducted on a sample of 300 industrial companies that are representative of Romania's 15,200 industrial companies with over 9 employees, which account for about 95 pct of the total industrial turnover. The data was collected by direct interviews with business managers between May 17 - 19, 2017. An index based on the net response ratio signals expansion if it exceeds 50 points and contraction if it drops below 50.

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